Reducing Contract Cheating – International Opportunities For Action – Presentation Slides

We’re now in the run up to the 4th International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating. This annual event, aimed at raising awareness about contract cheating and getting the discussion going, began in 2016. The event has got bigger every year, with more international institutions taking part.

One of the biggest strengths of the event is when students themselves have taken leadership roles in organising local activities (or have partnered with academic staff).

Irene Glendinning and I are part of the group organising this year’s event and we delivered a webinar to encourage people to get involved.

The slides we used for the webinar are available on my SlideShare account. They are also included below.


The slides contain examples of why contract cheating remains a problem and the measures that the contract cheating industry is taking to continue to grow and prosper. There are lots of examples of activities used in previous International Days of Action Against Contract Cheating, as well as ideas for more.

The webinar attendees shared several of their own good ideas. Whiteboard pledges are a well-established part of the event, but I love the idea of group pledges. There was also a suggestion of running a contract cheating based escape room, which would be a lot of fun if someone can figure out good puzzles and activities.

You can watch the whole video of the webinar here.

Do try and get involved if you’re not already taking part. Even if you can’t sign up your institution, you can still show your support on the day and get involved with the online discussions. It is really important to make noise and show that the whole academic community is in favour of academic integrity, not contract cheating.

An Examination Of How Successful Essay Mills And Contract Cheating Services Have Been In Integrating Within Different Academic Disciplines – Presentation From Plagiarism Across Europe And Beyond 2019

During Plagiarism Across Europe And Beyond 2019, I presented a new study examining the extent of contract cheating across different discipline areas.

There will be a full paper based on this data, but you can see some of the highlights as they were shared during the talk. The slides I used are available on my SlideShare account. The slides are also included below.


The paper considered the demand for contract cheating services, based on requests posted online by students across multiple previous studies. These noted that the extended area of Business attracted substantial contract cheating requests.

New data presented looked at the online visibility of contract cheating service marketing across 19 main discipline groups, as identified by the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This showed that, although essay mills are already visible in search engine results, most disciplines show several opportunities for further essay mill exploitation.

The visibility of discipline specific contract cheating advertising is surely something that search engines, such as Google, need to address with their algorithms. They should aim to ensure that students looking for help online receive useful information rather than links to essay mills.

Exploring Low-Cost Contract Cheating Provision Enabled Through Micro-Outsourcing Web Sites – Presentation From Plagiarism Across Europe And Beyond 2019

My recent research has focused on the companies and writers who are fueling the contract cheating industry.

The Plagiarism Across Europe And Beyond Conference 2019 provided me with the opportunity to update the audience with my latest research in the area. This was focused on changes on the way in which the use of the Fiverr.com marketplace is used by writers, with comparative research from 2016 and 2018 presented.

The slides I used are available on my SlideShare account. They are also included below.


As the slides show, the supply of essay writing labour on Fiverr.com has increased. At the same time, the pricing of essays has dropped substantially, potentially making this more affordable to students.

A full paper based on this area is in review, giving more observations on the underlying data analysis. There is a lot more data on sites like Fiverr.com that is ripe for analysis and which will provide more evidence about the scale of essay mill operation and the continued development of the contract cheating industry.

The Underlying Causes of Academic Cheating – Keynote Presentation From Westminster Higher Education Forum On Contract Cheating

The Westminster Higher Education Forum held an event focused on contract cheating on 22 May 2019. I delivered the opening keynote as part of a wide range of talks addressing the contract cheating problem.

During my presentation I considered the reasons why students cheat, including examples from my previous research in South East Europe and my recent paper examining why students say they cheat on Twitter.

The slides I used are available on my SlideShare account. They are also included below.


I argued that there are multiple reasons why students cheat, but much of this comes down to the easy availability of contract cheating services, ready to take advantage of students when they feel under the most pressure.

The whole event was interesting, with a lot of focus on the legal approaches to address contract cheating and the grey areas surrounding this, such as how far students can use proofreading services.

Social Media Enabled Contract Cheating – Presentation From Canadian Symposium On Academic Integrity 2019

What can we learn about the contract cheating industry from social media? That’s the question I asked when I delivered the feature presentation for the first Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity.

Having often presented previously on social media use in higher education (and, of course, on contract cheating), this presentation afforded me the opportunity to bring both these topics together for the first time.

The slides I used are available on my SlideShare account. They are also included below.


For me, this was a really interesting presentation to deliver, with lots of new ideas. These include everything from how contract cheating providers attract students to do business to them, to how they recruit writers, to how they hold their own conferences to develop writers and how contract cheating businesses are now being sold and traded like any other legitimate company.

Thanks to Sarah Eaton and her team for organising such an interesting event. Here’s a photo Sarah captured of the packed room of people attending.

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